Q1. Identify some of the factors that led Graff-Pinkert to become a victim of embezzlement.
Embezzlement in Graff-Pinkert Inc. involved a case where the company, dealing with metals, lost a total amount exceeding $200,000 within a period of four years. This was as a result of a bookkeeper altering the checks that were meant to settle the company's bills. This was discovered when she had gone on vacation (Blenkhorn, 2010).
One of the factors that led to this was over trusting its employees. This is evident as the company could even give them interest-free loans for their own use. The employees hence took advantage of the confidence the company had in them to embezzle the funds. Secondly, it was due to negligence among the management and their bank because from the forged checks, it was very evident that the some of the alterations were sloppy and could have been easily identified. Finally, it could be due to incompetent accountant and auditors who could not realize the mistakes on the checks (Blenkhorn, 2010).
What impact does this crime have on a company's cash flow?
According to Blenkhorn (2010) the major impact that embezzlement has on any company is leading it into losses and/or reducing the profit margins of the company. In this case, it was realized that the total amount lost was more than $800,000, if small businesses face a fraud of this magnitude, they may get bankrupt and close down. In other words, a company could experience inventory shortages, profit declines, odd bad debts, slow collections, and a decline or uncommonly small increase in credit or cash sales among others.
Q2. What recommendations would you make to Graff's about protecting their business from embezzlement in the future?
The first recommendation is that the company should avoid trusting their employees so much to leave everything in their hands. Secondly, the company should hire competent accountants and auditors to make sure that all the books of accounts are properly kept and evaluated. This should go together with hiring forensic investigators to regularly look into other electronic records for accountability. Additionally, the Graff's have to closely monitor their employees' behavior to establish if anything is a miss (Grossmann, 2003).
Carrying out thorough background investigations is another protective step that can be initiated to prevent embezzlement by employers remaining vigilant. The company should also establish the records of all people they want to hire by conducting previous employers and data bases. This has to not only base on checking criminal records but also records of civil litigation. Segregation of tasks within the business is another strategy that could be used to prevent further embezzlement.
Lastly, the company should regularly review personnel files, procedures and policies say on yearly basis to make sure that appropriate preventive measures are place to handle any acts of fraud or embezzlement (Grossmann, 2003).
Q3. Steps entrepreneurs should take to prevent their business from becoming victims of employee theft and embezzlement
Entrepreneurs can avoid employee theft by first of all nurturing a surrounding where employees are free to share information concerning suspicions within the company. For example availing anonymous ethics hotline or tip to employees to help uncover fraud and limit theft.
Just like the case of Graff, highly competent accountants and auditors have to be hired to detect any alterations and fraud acts within the records. On the other hand, they have to make paper trails a necessity where by receipts have to be handed in and avoiding many cash transactions to help limit losses (Blenkhorn, 2010).
As a rule in all businesses all the hire auditors and accountants must be highly cynical to help scrutinize all the records for any alterations hence prevent employee theft and embezzlement. Lastly incase of any fraud within the business, the entrepreneur must prosecute to make the suspect serve as example to the rest.